This Wednesday in San Francisco, a protest took place in an unlikely spot: an Apple store. It wasn’t angry coeds pissed about another U2 album appearing on their iPods. Nope, the gathering challenged the FBI’s demand that the company create software to hack into iPhones through a “backdoor” or “master key.”
The same day, CEO Tim Cook released a letter to customers saying that Apple would not create the software or comply with the federal magistrate’s order. There are now Fight for the Future rallies planned to take place this Tuesday in more than 30 cities globally. The cause appears to be gaining a lot of momentum with #dontbreakourphones on Twitter and the support of the ACLU. On Facebook, the group encourages everyone to hit up their local Apple store with their iPhones open to protestsign.org, which turns the device into a digital sign.
The FBI wants to use this backdoor to hack into the iPhone of Syed Rizwan Farook, one of the two shooters in the December San Bernardino, California attack. Libertarian candidate for the “Cyber Party” and legendary computer programmer John McAfee even offered the feds to hack into the phone for free. And in South Carolina yesterday, Donald Trump called on his supporters to boycott Apple, which will definitely limit his retweets. So, not everyone’s holding up one of these:
Earlier this week, Fight for the Future co-director Holmes Wilson told Inverse, “This is the most important political issue facing the future security of internet users.” While Tim Cook’s letter to customers maintained that, “Once created, the technique could be used over and over again, on any number of devices. In the physical world, it would be the equivalent of a master key, capable of opening hundreds of millions of locks — from restaurants and banks to stores and homes. No reasonable person would find that acceptable.” The ACLU put out a statement mirroring Cook’s words.
One thing is clear, no matter what your stance on the matter, people really love their iPhones.